In Desperate Need of Help with Understanding Student Finance

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EmmaL.AM
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Hey everyone, as you know it's that time of the year where people start to sort out student finance. People keep banging on about it at college and on university forums, but I have one problem - I don't understand what to do!

I know this seems rather dumb, but I'm the first person in my family who is going to uni so my family is rather helpless with the situation and most of my friends aren't going to uni so I don't really have anyone close to me who can help. I've tried asking staff at college and what they tell me just confuses me or they act like it's the simplest thing in the world.

So, I've made my student finance account on the government website, but I haven't applied for anything yet. I'm planning on living at home if I get into either my first choice or insurance choice, which is the main thing that is confusing me about student finance. Do I still need a maintenance loan? I believe that every single person needs a tuition loan (correct me if I'm wrong) but I don't know about the rest of it. I've been told to apply for a maintenance loan so I can buy books and cover transport, but I will have £1000 - £2500 coming in per year from certain schemes and scholarships I'm eligible for, so is it worth it? Do I just need to take out a tuition loan? And how do I go about this? Please help!
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Juno
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(Original post by EmmaL.AM)
Hey everyone, as you know it's that time of the year where people start to sort out student finance. People keep banging on about it at college and on university forums, but I have one problem - I don't understand what to do!

I know this seems rather dumb, but I'm the first person in my family who is going to uni so my family is rather helpless with the situation and most of my friends aren't going to uni so I don't really have anyone close to me who can help. I've tried asking staff at college and what they tell me just confuses me or they act like it's the simplest thing in the world.

So, I've made my student finance account on the government website, but I haven't applied for anything yet. I'm planning on living at home if I get into either my first choice or insurance choice, which is the main thing that is confusing me about student finance. Do I still need a maintenance loan? I believe that every single person needs a tuition loan (correct me if I'm wrong) but I don't know about the rest of it. I've been told to apply for a maintenance loan so I can buy books and cover transport, but I will have £1000 - £2500 coming in per year from certain schemes and scholarships I'm eligible for, so is it worth it? Do I just need to take out a tuition loan? And how do I go about this? Please help!
You don't need to take out a maintenance loan. If you're sure you don't want it then don't apply. You can apply up to 9 months after the start of your course, so you can always apply later if you change your mind.

But you need to work out if you can actually afford uni without it. Most students can't. Even living at home you'll have expenses - food, travel, books, clothes, going out etc. Your parents might even want some money for rent. Work out a budget, and see if your £1000-2500 a year is enough.

You also need to check the terms of the scholarships, as some may specify you need to receive the maximum amount of maintenance loan.

The tuition fee loan is paid directly to the Uni for your tuition fees. Again, you aren't forced to take it, but you need to be able to pay the fees if you don't - and that's about £9000 a year.
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Tiger Rag
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Personally, I would take the loan. It's there if you need it. It would also mean that if you decide to live away from home in your second year, you've got money for a deposit and things.
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